How to Find the Right Trade Publication for Your Local Media Campaign

local media

Trade publications can be an important component of a local media B2B campaign and evaluating a few key pieces of information can help you select the most appropriate vehicles for your message.

Planning a B2B campaign can feel like a daunting task unless you know where to start.  Recently, we outlined seven tactics to consider in your marketing mix.  If you have decided to include trade publications, you have completed step one. But, now the fun part begins … which ones to choose.

With thousands of trade publications in print you need to understand how to evaluate each title to make the most efficient use of your local media budget.

1.  Circulation/Unique Visitors

As with any media selection, you want to advertise to the largest audience.  Evaluate the circulation figures for the print edition and unique visitors or email database for a publication’s digital properties.

It is common for print publications to quote readership instead of circulation, but focus on the circulation number.  Circulation is the number of people that subscribe to or receive the publication and readership is a sales figure derived by multiplying the circulation by “readers per copy.”

So if a publication has a circulation of 100,000 and their research shows 3 people on average are exposed to each copy, the sales team would quote the publication has a readership of 300,000.  Obviously this will make your advertising investment seem far more efficient.  But, using the circulation figure will help you compare a variety of publications to find the most efficient buy.

Most major publications will have an audit report, which will outline circulation, web traffic and email reach.  If an audit report is not included in the media kit, ask your sales representative for a copy.

2.  Reader Profile

The reader profile is a critical piece of the evaluation process to ensure you reach the right segment of your target audience.  In this instance, age and gender aren’t as important as job title or industry.  Make sure the publication you choose effectively reaches the right niche.

The content may seem relevant to your product/service, but confirm the subscribers fit your campaign objectives.  An efficient campaign starts with eliminating wasted impressions.

The chart below illustrates the reader profile for a publication targeted to gift shop owners.  So this publication may work if you are trying to reach general gift shop owners, but not if you need to speak directly to those who own a toy store.

trade pub EX 1

3.  Exclusive Readership

Reaching an exclusive audience is important when selecting any local media tactic, especially if you are working with a limited marketing budget.  If you can only select one or two publications for your campaign, choosing those with a high exclusive readership will help extend the reach of your campaign.

Some media kits will highlight this research and show how they compare to the competition.  Ask your sales representative if this information is not readily available.

4.  Geographic Distribution

Most trade publications are distributed nationwide. If you have a restricted service area or narrow target area you need to consider the geographic distribution.

Below is a snapshot from an audit report for a publication targeted to building development and management professionals.

trade pub EX 2

This title may not be the most efficient buy if you were trying to reach this audience in the Northeast.  But, don’t cross it off the list yet.  Ask your sales representative if they have any geo-targeting options available.  Some publications may have opportunities in regional editions or can geo-target digital components.

5.  Editorial Calendar and Special Editions

Obviously you need to choose flight dates that meet your overall campaign objectives.  But, consult the editorial calendar before you finalize your schedule.  Look for topics and special editions relevant to your company and ask for ways to get involved.

By evaluating these 5 pieces of information, you can weed through the thousands of business-to-business titles and find the few that will effectively market you business.

Shelby Nichols

About Shelby Nichols

Shelby is Director of Digital Media at Sheehy, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. With 15 years in the industry she has planned and purchased a wide range of media and has a passion for all things digital.

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